April 20, 2001 -- October 15, 2010
9 1/2 years young
Our sweet Missy B -- she was everything a good dog should be.
She survived 5 1/2 months after her cancer was removed and I'm happy to say she enjoyed every day and had the energy of a puppy again. We thought we'd have more time as the liver biopsy was clear and she did so well with the chemo treatments.
Bella was diagnosed with Cancer on May 2nd, 2010. Her activity level had been dropping since January and I thought she was just slowing down because of old age. If only I had known! Why couldn't I read the message in her eyes that she wasn't feeling well? She never complained about anything so I don't think she was in pain but who knows. That weekend, she just wasn't doing well, her breathing was labored and she was anemic. We rushed her to the emergency clinic and they found the tumor on her spleen. We went ahead with the surgery, she deserved a chance to beat this and have several more months of the good life.
In September, she collapsed while we were on vacation at her favorite lake. We came home early and the ultra sound showed that she had multiple tumors growing and they were bursting. She would have a bad day, recover and then be her old self again for the next week. I started tracking the number of good vs. bad days so we would know when it was time. Twice we had planned to go back to Bear Lake but she was so bad the day we were to leave that we cancelled the trips.
The week of Oct 9th, she was slowly going down hill and had several bad days, by Tuesday she had basically stopped eating. She was stumbling when she walked and had a hard time making it outside to do her business. Her breathing had become labored.
We get home from work and she is walking fine, she greets us at the door wagging her tail and with her hello whine.
What do we do ... take her to the vet or wait another day ...
We went ahead and took her in; waiting another day wouldn't change the outcome and was just delaying the inevitable; plus it would have been more for us than for her. We didn't want her final days to be full of suffering and we didn't want her to die without us near.
It was hard but it was the right thing to do. Bill and I both needed those two quiet days that weekend to grieve, share memories, look at pictures and watch videos.
It has been a month, but I still see her in all her favorite places around the house. The house is so quiet and empty without her and we are trying to adjust to our new routine. We now have to clean our plates; there is no Bella to enjoy the last bite. The floor by my bed is large and empty, where is that cute little face looking up at me when I wake up. I miss the tug on the arm because she wanted to be petted, her beautiful face and kisses. We miss the routine of having a dog; when I came home from work she would always grab a toy and take me upstairs and wait while I changed my clothes.
We miss her ... She was a gentle soul, had a kind heart and was loved by all.
She did the job she was sent here to do; she gave us unconditional love and brought such joy into our lives.
Bella, find Cassie, Rhys, Tucker and Gretchen ... they have paved the way for you.
Memories of Bella ....
Tennis Balls: Bella loved tennis balls; she couldn't get enough of them. When she got a new one it was like a new drug. She had to break it in just right. She always had at least a dozen in her toy box. She would pick through the box until she found just the right one, I never understood how they could be so different to her.
We would throw them to her and kick them to her; she would get in a soccer stance waiting for the ball to come her way. We very seldom got them past her. I miss hearing the bouncing of a tennis ball while I'm in the kitchen or bathroom. Whenever I heard that sound, I'd look up and there was Bella waiting for the next kick or throw.
It was amazing watching her peek under a chair to find a ball and then use her paws to pull it out.
Back Sleeping: Bella would sleep on her back more than any dog I've ever had or known. She would stretch out from the tip of her nose to her toes, total relaxation. When I came home late, she'd be on the bed with Bill totally stretched out. She'd hear me and open her eyes to look at me and then wag her tail while still on her back. I'd crawl into bed and she still wouldn't move.
Ice Cubes: Bella loved ice cubes, whenever we would fill our glasses she was right there to get her share. If one fell out of the door, she'd come running. She would often whine at the ice maker because she wanted more cubes. She was really good at catching them when they fell out or we pushed the button. If she saw one about ready to fall, she would nudge it with her nose until it fell.
She loved stuffed animals; sometimes she had to get the squeakers out immediately and out would come all the stuffing. Others she would leave in tack for months at a time. One of her favorites was a big green spider with 8 legs that made a loud grunt.
Bella had a whine for every occasion; how can one dog make so many different sounds. A whine for hello ... you're home! , I want a treat, I can't get to my favorite ball, give me a treat ... they were all so different. I could hear the whine and know exactly what you wanted.
Bella would help me open the mail; I'd open the envelope, she'd take it and drop it in the wastebasket. When she found the right one, off she'd go to rip it to shreds.
Bella, we took our first trip to Bear Lake without you; it was so strange. I took our favorite walk on the beach but it just wasn't the same. When it was walk time you were always so excited, you would prance, bark and dance in circles because you were so excited to get down to the beach; I just couldn't move fast enough for you.
Once we hit the beach, how I loved to watch you stretch out and run full stride across the sand; it was a beautiful sight. Once we got to the water, you just couldn't get enough. I'd throw a few sticks for you to fetch; but you were more interested in what treasures you could find under the water. You'd constantly put your head under and come up with rocks, sticks, and once a tea cup. You looked so cute carrying it by the handle. Once you found the perfect rock you were looking for, you would carry it the longest way.
Oct 29, 2010
Daddy brought you home last night; it is so good to have you back. The cedar box is just beautiful and the vet gave us a book they all had signed and wrote about their memories of you, what a great dog you were, and how much they enjoyed taking care of you. We knew you were one special girl, but it was comforting to know how much joy you brought to others.
Nov 9, 2010
Bella, we had our first snowstorm today; there is about 3 inches on the grass. Remember how much you loved to play and run around in the snow. It made you so frisky and full of energy. I hope there is some snow at Rainbow Bridge; there is nothing like chasing snowballs is there?
All the grandkids made cards for you; they drew pictures of you and said how much they loved you, missed you, and were sorry that you were gone. You touched everyone you met.
Dec 25, 2010
We missed you today. We missed our beautiful girl watching as we opened presents. We missed the laughter we always shared watching you open yours. The house was just so quiet without you. The kids came up and still played with your toys, just like they always did when you were here. Your toy basket is still in the family room full of your toys, I see no reason to get rid of them or put them away. Since I can't see you lying in your favorite places, it makes me feel better to look over at your toys.
Sylvi wanted to know why you were in a box. I told her we wanted you with us and that you were a doggie angel at a beautiful place. She was sad for a little while but when we told her she would see you again she felt better. Sylvi and Kora are always drawing pictures of you. You were the first dog they knew and you have been a part of their entire lives.
We had some beautiful steak scraps that I know you would have loved. It was so hard to just throw them out; it seemed like such a waste and all I could think about was how much you would enjoy them. It surprises me how many of the small day to day activities bring back such good memories of you. You were such an important part of our lives and still are.
Bella, thank you for the beautiful memories, for being such a wonderful dog and being such an important part of our family.
We made it two and a half months without you and it hasn't been easy. I want you back! I tell Bill at least once a week that I want you back and I still wonder if we said good-bye too soon. I know I'm still working through the guilt but I do wonder since you were doing better that last day if we should have given you another weekend.
We still miss you so much; we think of you every day and share stories and look at your pictures constantly.
We finally got more snow after Christmas and it is much colder. The snow on the deck is still pristine, no Bella prints running through it; seeing it that way is so strange and just makes it so obvious that you are gone.
I don't know what this year will bring, but I do know we will continue to miss you tremendously. You must have one of the brightest rainbows around you because the tears are still falling; both in our hearts and down our cheeks.
Losing you has made me reflect on the love from all the dogs that have been a part of our family. I hope you are all hanging out together and enjoying all the good things the bridge has to offer.
Happy Birthday our Beautiful Bella!
You would have been 10 today, and how we wish you were here to celebrate that milestone.
Love Jan (Mom) and Bill (Dad)
Oct 15, 2011
Today is the 1st anniversary of your passing. Living without you has gotten easier, but we still miss you and think of you every day.
The summer at Bear Lake just wasn't the same without you. I know you are happy and healthy at the bridge and chasing tennis balls to your hearts content.
You'll always be in our hearts, we miss you beautiful girl!
Thanksgiving, 2011 ...
The family was here for dinner. I still haven't cleaned out your toy box and the kids went right to them Little Lea (2 1/2) wouldn't leave your green spider alone, she carried it all over the house. Anders (1 1/2) played will all the tennis balls and your squeaky tool, he pounded them until they made noise just like any little boy. They all missed you.
I had to throw out lots of good turkey scraps; it still surprises me how many of the little things we used to share make me thing of you when I do them without you.
We are finally ready to open our hearts and home to another "golden" girl.
We love you, Bella!
January 2, 2012
We finally have a new golden in the house. Maisie came to us on Christmas weekend, a cute little puppy who has added joy back into the house and our lives. The time was finally right to add to our golden family. She likes ice cubes like you did; but I know she isn't my beautiful Bella ....
Thank you for staying with me and always being in my heart! Enjoy life at the Bridge and the company of Cassie, Rhys, Tucker and Gretchen. Say hi to Trixie Koontz!
We love you Missy B, you will always be with us and a very important part of our lives!
Jan and Bill